Chicken stews and chicken braises are prepared with boneless and bone-in parts, respectively. As with meat stews and braises, choosing the right part to use is key to success. The delicate white meat of chicken breasts dries out with long cooking, and drumsticks are awkward to eat. Fortunately, chicken thighs are ideal.
This recipe, Chicken Provençal, is a chicken braise, so you’ll be using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. The thighs are browned in batches to give them good color and develop fond that will give deep, chickeny richness to the sauce. Next, aromatic vegetables are sautéed to coax out and concentrate their flavors, then flour for thickening and tomato paste are stirred in. Both wine and broth are poured into the pot to create the simmering liquid, but before the browned chicken thighs are added, you’ll be removing and discarding the skin. If left on, the skin turns soggy and limp, and is no fun to eat. This braise cooks for over an hour, so simmering takes place in a 300-degree oven.
After you master this technique, you can create chicken braises with any number of flavor profiles—from Italian to Southwestern—simply by altering the seasonings.
Total Cooking Time: 180
Preparation Time: 30
Active Cooking Time: 150
Make Ahead: 2 days in refrigerator
Yield: 6 to 8 servings